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Purveyors of the Uniq

Books Worth Seeking: To Inspire While Staying In

Given the times that we are in, sometimes it's best to just go on a literary escape and seek inspiration. I'm already on my third book and it feels odd because pre-ECQ, I'm usually scrambling for time just to finish whatever I'm reading given my erratic schedule. While I'm usually drawn to reading fashion books, I still give fiction, classics, memoirs, self-help ones, etc. some leeway. It really is tough to play favorites, but let me share with you four of my picks that you can enjoy reading while at home. 

The New Garconne: How to Be a Modern Gentlewoman by Navaz Batliwalla

Prone to dry lips this summer? No worries! Have the Lucas Papaw Ointment by your bedside table and apply, as you get lost in your book. Don't forget to hydrate too!

Just by reading the book's title, I can already relate to it; and this is the reason why I bought it. You see, I am not your typical girly-girl and this goes beyond my fashion choices. Written by London-based Fashion Editor, Navaz Batliwalla, this book features interviews of modern, independent women traversing through life and their careers—in style. Take a peek inside their apartments/studios/offices, know about their greatest influences, and learn a thing or two on how they achieved success. No two women are alike, but they all share “the duality of old meets new, luxury meets utility, masculine meets feminine” in their personal styles. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Light a scented candle as you build a calm, relaxing environment while you read. Seek our candles here

Who hasn't fallen in love with this classic? I believe this book addresses love without you having to cringe on cheesiness. Set in the early 19th century, this book by Jane Austen is a novel of manners on how marriage, decorum, wealth, and social status were depicted in English society. The story highlights the relevance of marrying for love and not for wealth or social status, in spite of the pressures during that time. I am smitten by the novel's female protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet—a clever, strong-willed young woman who goes against the grain regardless of what society expects her to be. She meets Mr. Darcy, her love interest, wherein judgment gets the best of her. 

Love Style Life by Garance Doré

Protect your specs—when you keep them after hours of reading—with a fun, printed pouch like the Kadi. Apply your chosen oil/s to further de-stress! 

I think I've read this thrice or four times already! I just love how the author, Garance Doré, speaks to me in ways that make me reflect on my own experiences, dreams, and finding my personal style. Aside from sharing her life story, she also features inspiring women who have influenced her as an artist. Her candid approach on narrating her journey is mixed with her chic illustrations and distinct photography. Sorry, but this book will make you miss traveling too! 

Influence by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen 

Why not setup a diffuser for a more inviting ambience as you read? Seek room fragrances here

This book is special not only because it was written by my childhood idols, but also it was gifted to me by my sister (she knew how much I loved the Olsens). Since retiring from acting, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have become more private with their personal lives that's why reading this book allows you to get a glimpse of it and well, their influences. Here, they showcase a myriad of never-before-seen photos of beautiful people, places, fashion, events, and their most treasured pieces; accompanied by interviews of the world's most celebrated tastemakers including Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano, among others. Crossing my fingers that they release another book in the near future!

I know that you just can't go out and buy a book, but in case you have any of these already and had time hold you back from perusing it, now is the opportunity to actually read and get carried away by it. On the other hand, you can always search for these titles and purchase or download an e-book online at Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, etc. Hope you'll love these books as much as I do!

Stay safe and happy reading!

Off to finishing my book,

BiblioCraft : Paper Town

New Year, New Books - and it's time to get crafty. One of our recent finds is BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects. It's full of creative DIY's for year-round inspiration and it has kid-friendly projects, too! One of our resident crafters, Ranzel, shows us how.
 You Will Need:
Different colored paper (thick card stock)
A Pair of Scissors
A Ruler
A Pencil
A Glue Stick
 Measure the size of the house you want and cut it out on heavy paper. We used 6 x 6 inches.
Make a roof to fit over it and glue to the top of your house.
Add details you want like a door, windows and a chimney.
Trim the edges to fit.
Cut a small rectangular piece to fit the back of your house.
Fold it back to make a tab and attach it to the back of your paper house to make it stand.
Cut green triangles and fit them together to make trees. Add other details to your paper town.
Add other houses and buildings and set them up on a paper board. Play and display!
Send us photos of your Paper Town. Seek BiblioCraft and other hobbies and crafts books here
Your Purveyor-at-Large,

Watercolor Lettering

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to score a slot in Alessandra Lanot's Life After Breakfast Watercolor Lettering Class. I had taken a few of her other workshops before but I have to say I as most excited about this one. I have long been fascinated with watercolor as a medium but have had many failed attempts as it is quite difficult. Since I love doodling and lettering, I figured this class would be a happy medium.
We started by introducing ourselves (Hi, I'm Chia and I take way too many craft classes!) and checking out our kits. Each one included two different sizes of watercolor pads, four different brushes, palette mixing sheets, a pencil, eraser and my absolute favorite-- three bottles of watercolor ink. Yes, ink! This is a liquid concentrated version of watercolor that's ready to use, no water needed. They are gorgeous and come in all colors of the rainbow but for this class,  we were provided with the primary colors and Alessa gave us a review on color theory. The kicker? We were told to try not to use our pencils to trace anything. Challenge, accepted! 
We were taught watercolor techniques and did drills to familiarize ourselves with our materials. There was also a lecture of the history of lettering and the importance of spacing. 
I liked playing with the wet-on-wet technique.
The first activity was to make our own original lettering style with a random theme. I got Cars at first and immediately panicked! Luckily, my male seat mate was willing to trade so I ended up with Leaves instead. Yay! Here's what I came up with.
Not bad for a first attempt, eh? Imagine how that would have gone down with cars!! I think we all did well.
Our last activity was to do original watercolor lettering of our favorite quote or song lyric using all the techniques and theories we learned in class. Spacing was especially tricky for me. 
This is a closeup of the work of the master. No pencil and no tracing. Imagine the patience and control involved in painting that. She did it so quickly and made it look so easy. Alessa really is so talented.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. We got to take home all our materials so I've been tinkering with them a few minutes a day. I have discovered that it can be quite calming. I especially love discovering the new colors I can come up with with the three bottles but have also been quietly contemplating ordering other colors and calling it a day.
What do you do to keep your creative juices flowing? Check out or hobbies and crafts books here. We're sure you'll be inspired in no time.
To join any of Alessa's workshops check out her blog, Life After Breakfast and sign up there. Bring a friend. I guarantee it will be an afternoon well-spent. 
Your Purveyor-at-Large,